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Why Selling Your Car to a Dealer Might Not Be A Good Idea

Updated 25 Nov 2021 – By Team Loanstreet

Are you thinking of putting your car up for sale but have no idea what the process entails? Here’s your guide to selling a motor vehicle in Malaysia.


How to Know If It's Time to Sell?

Of course, you're probably here if you’ve already decided, but just in case you’re unsure whether or not you should sell your car, here are a few quick pointers to help you decide.

Consider selling your car if:

  • It’s too expensive to maintain (e.g. loan instalments, servicing, insurance too heavy, etc.)
  • It’s not a right fit for your oft-travelled terrain (e.g. highway, outskirts and town roads)
  • It’s too small to fit a growing family
  • It requires plenty of repairs

You might want to hold on to your car if:

  • You’ve paid off your car loan and it still drives well
  • You’ll lose a lot of money selling the car due to poor resale value and a high loan balance
  • You don’t want to pay interests on a new loan for your car

If these hints helped you decide and you’re now completely sure you want to sell, let’s move on to how you can do just that.


Selling to a Dealer vs Doing It Yourself

You have two main options when it comes to selling your car: you can sell it yourself to an individual buyer, or you can sell it to a dealership.

By going to a dealership, you’ll save time and hassle but you’ll most definitely lose money. This is because dealers will have to consider their own profit and costs as they sell your car.  But, rather than simply walking into a dealership lot, you can sell to dealers online via 

This online service helps you sell your car by showcasing it to their ready network of dealers to bid on, or you can sell directly to the said platform.  With dealerships bidding on your car, you might get a better price than if you were to walk into a lot. In addition, it will take care of the documentation process and help inspect your vehicle as well, free of charge.

People who have very little spare time (and patience) might opt for the service or head to a dealership, but it’s likely you’ll save more cash via the DIY route. You should know though that it’s not all roses when you attempt to sell your own car. The process (covered below) is lengthy and sometimes tedious.  But with potentially thousands of Ringgit saved selling your own car, in comparison to a dealer, the money may be worth the hassle.


How to Sell Your Car by Yourself?

There are a few steps you’ll have to take when you plan to put your vehicle on the market and afterwards for the actual sale. Let’s take a look at the tasks in store when selling your own car:

Step 1: Setting a Price

There are many ways to set a price. The first would be to try out an online service like MyCarInfo or CarBase that gives you an estimate when you key in details about your car (e.g. your car’s make, model, year, etc.). This method is quick, easy and typically free.  It’s best to compare between sites because estimates might differ slightly.  

Another way to find the current saleable price of your car is to look at how others are pricing theirs; research ads online or in classifieds to view the selling price of your car’s make, model and year.

Note that your car’s actual worth may differ; it could be lower than the valuation model due to a prior accident, or higher if you’ve installed upgrades such as special security features and tech. 

If you would like to increase the sale price of your car, do consider performing minor maintenance works such as a fresh paint job or new tires. 


Step 2: Advertise

You can do it for free on sites like Mudah, Carlist, Oto, Motor Trader (where a RM60 paid option is available as well) and many others. You can also opt for paid classified ads, which depending on your choice of publication, word count and position, would cost a minimum of RM14 per day (national newspaper section).


Step 3: Negotiate

As you negotiate the price and how to cover the outstanding balance of your car loan (if any), it’s a good idea to find out if the buyer is going to pay cash or will need to apply for a loan. Cash buyers usually make for a straightforward sale. However, if a potential buyer requires a loan, there’s a little more risk here for you. Not only will the sale take longer but there are no guarantees that the buyer will actually be approved for the loan. 

What you might want to do after the buyer has agreed to a price, whether or not they decide to buy with cash or through a loan, is to ask for a booking fee. 

Note: If a buyer requires a hire-purchase loan, they will need a car insurance policy for a sum assured of 90% of the car’s purchase price to complete the loan and transfer process.


Step 4: PUSPAKOM inspection

Once you have found a confirmed buyer, send your car for a PUSPAKOM inspection.

If your buyer requires a hire-purchase loan, you’ll need to send your car for an 18-point inspection under the Hire Purchase Inspection (HPI) programme by PUSPAKOM. This will cost RM50 to RM100 and if your car passes the test, PUSPAKOM will issue a B7 report for the buyer’s loan application.

Other than that, you’ll also need to complete a Transfer of Ownership Inspection, which is mandatory and will cost RM30. Once the inspection is done and you’ve passed, PUSPAKOM will issue you a B5 report to be submitted to the Road Transport Department (JPJ) for the next step: registering to transfer ownership of the vehicle!

Don't forget to make an appointment with them in advance and bring along your vehicle’s original registration card.


Step 5: Make the Transfer at JPJ

With your certification from PUSPAKOM, you can now proceed to file for a Transfer of Ownership from JPJ. You can actually make the trip to JPJ to register the transfer after an hour of obtaining your PUSPAKOM reports. Here’s a quick tip – go with the buyer and complete the transfer. Some sellers prefer to simply pass on a copy of their identification, car registration card and signed documentation to the buyer to make the transfer. 

However, this is risky because if the buyer fails to complete the transfer, the car and all the imminent bad stuff (e.g. traffic summons or crimes linked to the vehicle) could remain your responsibility.


Step 6: Hand Off The Car Keys

If the buyer is paying cash, then you can hand over the keys when the full sum is received and transfer completed. However, if the buyer is getting a loan, it's best to only give your car to the buyer once you’ve received a cheque from the bank. Practice your best judgment and have a written agreement in place if you intend to give the keys to the buyer before you’ve received payment. It’s still a better idea to wait it out though.


Step 7: Cancel Your Insurance 

You can get a refund on your car insurance if you haven’t made an accident claim on the policy. So how much of your premium can you get back? 

Typically, if it's your first year with a particular insurance provider and still within the first eight months of your policy’s tenure, you will receive a short rate refund when you cancel the policy. This means that your refund will be based on a percentage assigned for how far along you are in your policy.  

If you are using the same provider for more than one year, they should give you leeway and prorate the refund based on the number of months remaining on your policy.


Out With the Old, in With the New

So, there you have it - ways to sell your car in Malaysia. If you opt to sell to dealers online ~ you can checkout carsome as mentioned before here. If you opt to sell your car privately, do take note to not make these simple mistakes that can affect your sales deal:

  • Not knowing your car's value
  • Skipping the clean-up
  • Using poor quality photos
  • Writing an incomplete/inaccurate description of the car
  • Not having a price strategy
  • Not screening potential buyers

That aside, if you're looking to get a new car, do check out Loanstreet's car loan comparison tool to compare and calculate your monthly repayments.

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